Financial aid specialist advises students to fill out FAFSA

Johannes Haasbroek, Editor-in-Chief


An AACC financial aid specialist advised students who attended a virtual workshop on Thursday to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, so they can learn if they qualify for grants, scholarships or loans. 

“It’s good to apply for the sake of not just [the FAFSA] but anything else that a student might qualify for,” Renee Booker told a group of approximately 20 students. “There are awards many times that students aren’t aware of [and if] they don’t apply for that FAFSAthen they’re not going to be considered eligible. So definitely fill it out. It can help you with a good number of different” scholarships. 

Booker noted that some AACC scholarships require students to fill out the FAFSA, even though they are not federal grants. 

Booker said when students apply for the FAFSA, their information is automatically sent to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which will determine which applicants qualify for state grants, like the Promise Scholarship, which offers up to $5,000 in tuition for qualified community college students. 

But Booker warned that the Promise Scholarship is a “last dollar” option. 

“Basically, students have to  exhaust options of any [other] kind of grants in order to be qualified for” for Promise Act funds. 

To qualify for state scholarship, students should complete the FASFA bMarch 1, Booker said. 

“It’s going to open you up to a lot more eligibility than if you do it after the fact,” she explained.   

Students who need help completing the FAFSA, can contact the college’s Financial Aid & Veterans Benefits office. 

“It can be involved and … confusing,” Booker saidSo, please don’t try to do this alone.